It's practically 2014 already and, though most of us are probably still pretty wrapped up in 2013, it's time to start thinking about what you want to accomplish next year. January could really be a fresh start: Economists expect the labor market to be on the up and up in 2014, with the monthly job creation rate returning to about 200,000.
Next year is a new chance to steer your career in the direction you want. Is this the year you get a promotion? Or the year you decide to go back to school? What do you need to do in order to make 2014 the year you bring your career to the next level? We have a few ideas.
1. Be clear about what you want your goal to be
Write it down if it helps. Career expert and the CEO of Ultimate Lifestyle Enterprises, Stacia Pierce says to consider one resolution that would make the greatest impact on your career. This one goal will embody many steps or mini-goals but it is the one thing that you want to accomplish in the next year.
2. Get some guidance
If you have a mentor, this would be the time to consult them. You could also try networking more and speaking with people in other industries to get an idea of what you should do next. Former editor in chief of Cosmopolitan magazine Kate White says: "I like to play a game with people in the work world and just say, 'Let's spend 10 minutes. You solve my problem. I solve yours.' It is fun to do. One question could be, 'Where do you see me next?' Often people have a better idea than you do. They can see your strengths in a way you don't."
3. Show everyone what you've got
If you are looking to move up within your company, you have to make sure people are noticing you. Donna Rosato of CNN Money says to work on your "intrapraneurial skills." Over 40 percent of new jobs are being filled internally (up from 28 percent in 2007) so this is your chance. Rosato says, " Let the decision-makers know what your goals are and sign up for cross-departmental projects that will expand your network."
4. Learn as much as you can
You have to be proactive. Attend networking events, exhibitions, and conferences. Watch TED Talks. Read advice books and great biographies. Some great resources for online business or media classes are MediaBistro, University of Phoenix, DeVry, or Excelsior.
5. Take risks
Sheryl Sandberg says everyday you ask yourself "What would you do if you weren't afraid?" You need to do things that are out of your comfort zone. If you are getting too comfortable at a job, you should take it as a sign that you need to move on or ask for new challenges and responsibilities. You always want to be a little scared in your career.
6. Celebrate small victories
Pierce says any progress should be considered progress. "Take time to commemorate your small victories on your road to success. Celebrations will keep you motivated and appreciative of how far you’ve come."